Skip to main content

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative

As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.
Known for its activist Hindu monks, the Matri Sadan Ashram shot into prominence following the fast unto death by Swami Gyanswaroop Sanand, who is former professor of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, GD Agarwal, following which he died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh on October 11, 2018. He fasted for 111 days, demanding measures from the Centre to keep the Ganga clean and free-flowing.
Other she signatories of the HVP statement include Goswami Sushil Maharaj, national convenor of the Bhartiya Sarva Dharma Sansad, Thakur Dwarka Mandir, Noida; Mahant Yugal Kishore Shastri of the Ram Janaki Temple, Ayodhya; Swami Sandeepanandagiri of the Gita Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala; members of the US-based diaspora group Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), priests and priestesses based in India and US, and academics.
According to them, Faisal Khan, a Gandhian, “is a member of the Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God), a movement started in 1929 by the freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, also known as Badshah Khan and Frontier Gandhi, to encourage mutual harmony between Hindus and Muslims. Faisal Khan has been working tirelessly over years for the cause of inter-religion peace and harmony.”
The signatories, said, they are a “group of Hindus and concerned citizens of India with no political affiliations”, and are saddened by the development, as Faisal Khan, accompanied by his colleagues, were praying “for religious amity and harmony at the Nand Baba temple in Mathura.” They added, Faisal Khan “visited Nand Baba temple during their pilgrimage to different places of worship across the country, during which “they humbly prayed to Sri Krishna, who taught that God is the same to all beings – Srimad Bhagavadgita (9:29) samoham sarvabhuteshu.”
“After offering prayers to Sri Krishna in the Nand Baba temple, it was time for Faisal Khan’s namaz. Faisal Khan was going outside for his namaz, but the priest of the Nand Baba temple, in the tradition of world-famous Hinduism, invited him to perform namaz there itself inside the temple premises. We cannot emphasize enough that Faisal Khan performed namaz in the temple only after the Nand Baba temple priest invited him to do so”, the statement said. 
The charges of promoting enmity and defiling a place of worship against Faisal Khan are wholly misplaced. Namaz is merely an expression of devotion to one and the same Creator
“Hence”, the statement said, “The charges of promoting enmity and defiling a place of worship against Faisal Khan are wholly misplaced. This is so, because our Upanishads teach us ‘Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti’, that Truth is One, but the wise perceive it differently, and thereby namaz is merely an expression of devotion to one and the same Creator.”
The statement continued, “We also learn that following Faisal Khan’s namaz at Nand Baba temple, some Hindu men reportedly recited Hanuman chalisa at a mosque, with the permission of the Muslim cleric of the mosque, and that they were also arrested by Police on charges similar to those against Faisal Khan and his fellows.”
It added, “Thus, while we emphasize that Faisal Khan’s arrest was misplaced and we earnestly call upon the government to release him and the other Khudai Khidmatgar members from custody, we have no hesitation in equally earnestly requesting government to also release from custody, the Hindu men who were arrested for reciting Hindu scriptures at a mosque.”
Meanwhile, HfHR, even as greeting its well-wishers for “a happy, healthy and peaceful Deepavali/Diwali”, said, as t he “most important celebration for most Hindus, we believe that the best way to observe this holy day is to reflect on how we can each do our part to shine the light of goodness, peace, generosity and justice throughout the world.”
To commemorate the special day, it organized a #DalitLivesMatter webinar on the Diwali day of Diwali, because, it said, “We feel it is incumbent on Hindus to prioritize the effort to do away with caste entirely, and raise our voice against caste atrocities.” Among those who participated included Dalit rights activist Martin Macwan, Vedantic scholar and Professor of Religion Dr Anantanand Rambachan, based in Minnesota, USA, and Father Anand, an interfaith peace activist based in Varanasi, India.

Comments

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

Employment loss vis-a-vis pre-Covid situation 'neutralized', claim Govt of India data

By Arup Mitra, DPS Negi, Puneet Kumar Shrivastav* The Labour Bureau, an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment, has been entrusted with the task of conducting the All-India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey (AQEES) which has two components namely Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) in respect of establishments employing 10 or more workers (mostly constituting ‘organised’ segment) and Area Frame Establishment Survey (AFES) to build up a frame in respect of establishments employing nine or less workers.

How green revolution led to 'deterioration' of Punjab economy, land, air and water

By Dr Gian Singh*  A recent research paper, based on a survey of 320 farming families in four districts of Punjab, has tried to show that high crop densities and the use of inputs have led to degradation of land, air, water and humans through a rich agricultural structure. Although mechanization has increased agricultural productivity, it has also caused environmental degradation.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.